India Unveils First Indigenous Rotavirus Vaccine


  • On 14 May 2013 Indian scientists unveiled the first completely indigenous and affordable vaccine to prevent severe rotavirus diarrhoea.
  • The vaccine named “Rotavac” and it would be available at Rs. 54 per dose.
  • It is to be noted that International pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Merck produce similar vaccines but each dose costs around 1,000 rupees.
  • The vaccine was developed by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based company, after 18 years of research.
  • At a press conference the government announced that the phase III trials of the Rotavac proved to be safe and effective.
  • Rotavac is an oral vaccine and is administered to infants in a three-dose course at the ages of 6, 10 and 14 weeks.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death of children after pneumonia, and the Rotavirus that causes it spreads through faecal-oral route mainly by contaminated hands, objects, food and water.
  • Rotavirus responsible for approximately 4, 53,000 child deaths due to diarrhoea globally each year
  • In India around 1, 00,000 children die each year from severe diarrhoea and dehydration caused by rotavirus.

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